GSMA’s plan to make Europe a leader in 5G
The advent of 5G networks gives Europe an opportunity to reclaim its lost leadership in mobile. The GSMA has now outlined an action plan to achieve that.
The consensus is that Europe lost its leadership in mobile with the advent of 4G networks. Global operators’ association the GSMA has now released a policy roadmap that outlines how the region can regain its lost crown with 5G around the corner. The organization is calling for no less than a regulatory reset as a means of attracting investment and promoting the rollout of 5G mobile networks and services across Europe. “For Europe to catch up in 4G and become a leader in 5G, a fundamental change in approach to telecoms policy is required,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA.
The organization has identified seven critical areas of action to make Europe a leader in 5G.
1. New growth objectives for the EU Telecoms framework
European regulation must aim higher in terms of levels of network investment if it is to reclaim a leadership role in 5G. ”This is only possible if regulators target sustainable levels of competition to maximize consumer benefits over the long term,” the GSMA stated. It is therefore crucial that regulators should promote growth, innovation, and investment in communications markets.
2. No more sector-specific regulation, removal of conditions in spectrum licenses
The GSMA calls for mobile services to be deregulated and sector-specific regulation to be withdrawn. In addition, spectrum licenses conditions that are unrelated to efficient spectrum allocation should be removed. This includes wholesale access obligations.
3. Measures to reduce the cost of mobile network deployment
The costs of sites, spectrum fees and other input taxes add to the total cost of deployment of mobile networks. The European Commission has a role to play in reducing these costs, the GSMA said.
4. Expand the supply of spectrum
In order to minimize the need for spectrum interventions, such as spectrum caps, regulators should seek to expand the supply of spectrum. In that respect, BEREC should map out the factors that influence the production of ”high performing markets that meet the needs of consumers.”
5. Review net neutrality rules
Net neutrality rules may make sense when dealing with the ”straightforward” networks of today, but 5G networks and services will be far more complex and differentiated and will therefore require a fresh approach. ”Regulations that set simple, uniform targets for network coverage or that equate network quality with speed will no longer be appropriate or relevant in the future,” said the GSMA. Keeping today’s net neutrality regulations could hamper innovation, increase costs and harm consumers, according to the GSMA.
6. Introduce perpetual spectrum licenses
Spectrum rights should promote investment and growth; policy-makers should consider the introduction of perpetual licenses, the GSMA said. ”As more spectrum is released, the need for spectrum caps should reduce, while action is needed on fees, reserve prices and regulatory obligations to ensure that spectrum is licensed in a way that promotes the network investment required to exploit it.”
7. Mobile as a central part of wider policy goals
Mobile should be at the heart of any other wider policy aimed at delivering public services to citizens. In addition, general taxation should be used if subsidies are required to achieve wider goals that benefit society as a whole.
But Qatar could be first with 5G
Europe is not alone in wanting to lead in mobile. Waleed Al Sayed, CEO of Qatar-based Ooredoo, said Qatar would be the first country in the world to launch commercial 5G mobile network services. “We believe 2020 is very far away. So we are trying with manufacturers and other concerned entities such as ITU and GSMA to bring the launch date forward,”he told The Peninsula. Ooredoo signed an agreement with Huawei to build the region’s first 5G R&D Centre in Qatar.
IIoT News Recap: Sigfox to power Atari devices; Isuzu and Hino join forces on autonomous truck convoys; Data Respons signs IIoT deal; AutoGrid raises $20 million; Today’s forecast: the RFID market
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Autonomous driving: Isuzu and Hino join forces on autonomous driving truck convoys
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Industry 4.0: Data Respons signs $4.8 million IIoT solutions deal
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Today’s startup: AutoGrid Systems secures $20 million in financing
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Today’s forecast: Smart factories to drive growth in RFID market
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